Last fall, around the time many of us were making sure our living spaces would feel like winter hibernating sanctuaries, I shared a bit of a confession.
“I got busy, both as a KonMari Consultant helping others spark joy, and as a Chiropractor, Reflexologist, Reiki Master Practitioner, and Acupuncturist, and things stealthily started accumulating a bit here and there again,” I wrote in a blog post.
As I said then, the “mess” was limited to certain hotspots, like the closet near the kitchen and living room. I did a KonMari refresh and all was well again.
With the arrival of Spring, it’s time to recognize and tackle another form of clutter, the kind you don’t really see.
The house may feel fairly tidy and organized, but, trust me, this “invisible” clutter is all around you, typically lurking behind closed doors and in closed drawers.
Exactly what do I mean?
Well, this isn’t me but I know people (yes, mostly men) who keep socks with no match or ones with a hole in the toe. They see them every time they rifle through the sock drawer but never discard them in part because they’re hidden.
Not to pick on men, many women have beauty and fashion “addictions” that make them perceive a negative (clutter) as a positive, being well-stocked with essentials.
Pre-COVID, I had a bit of a weakness when it came to lipstick.
Beauty products are expensive and the packages are typically small, so these items tend to accumulate. When they’re tucked away in a drawer, it’s easy to justify keeping them.
But how many tubes of neutral lipstick can I really have before they end up going bad anyway? If we’re honest, the lipsticks that are out of style, too subtle, too bold, or simply past their prime are nothing but hidden clutter.
I’ll admit to another transgression in this category: JEANS! No stylish woman can have too many pairs, right? They are my favorite.
At a certain point, we need to be honest about the ones that have never fit well, the ones that have gotten a bit too worn, and those retro styles from years ago you keep hoping will come back into fashion—they’re all clutter, and they all have to be thanked for their service and discarded.
Here’s one that will sound familiar to families with children—if they’re willing to admit it, or even know it’s true because hidden clutter is often very well hidden.
Tucked away somewhere there’s a trove of DVDs of kids movies and TV series no one will ever watch again.
If you’re thinking you’ll save them for the grandkids, think again. By the time these new little ones are ready to watch, titles like “Scooby Doo” and “Dora the Explorer” will hold no interest … and very few watch DVDs even now.
Where’s that stash of CDs you once liked but may never listen to again? And don’t we stream music now, anyway.
Books should get a mention here, too, even though they’re a distinct category in the KonMari decluttering process. When arranged neatly on a tidy bookshelf, books seem less like clutter and more of a lifestyle enhancement—until you think about it.
- Cookbooks you’ve never once made a recipe from: Check.
- Topical books that felt compelling when you swiped your card but will never deserve more than one read: Check.
- Photo or artbooks that are pretty but not compelling enough to have been leafed through even once since the day they went on the shelf: Check.
These are all hidden clutter, but it’s a different kind of hidden. Books displayed on shelves don’t have out-of-sight, out-of-mind status but their content often does, and it’s the content that determines whether they’re essential to nourishing your sleek, tidy, and stress-free lifestyle … or whether they’re actually clutter.
A quick investigation of your home with this perspective in mind will likely have you thinking, “Maybe I have more things I’ll never need again than I realize, and maybe it’s time to do something about it.”
Those seeking professional help with decluttering should feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (203) 772-8883, to discuss your situation—or visit my Packages & Rates page.